UIS Informatics Commission

Current and Future Projects

Updated 2013-06-20

These projects are where the Commission's work is done. Everyone interested is invited to join in and help. Most projects will have a forum to help discussions and decisions, and to hold any project documents for downloading. Where decisions have to be made on a final project document, we follow the usual UIS procedure of one vote per interested country by their official delegate to the project, but everyone is encouraged to join in the discussions.

If one of these projects does not have a leader yet and it is a subject you think you could help with, please volunteer to be its leader. This will help it along quite a bit!

Similarly, if there are aspects of cave and karst documentation which you would like to work on but which are not already covered in one of these projects, please contact the Commission's President ( matthews@melbpc.org.au ) to look into starting a new project.

Where our work involves setting recommended values, such as data field names and their range of possible values, we take the basic approach of using numeric codes, i.e independent of any national language. Each code's descriptive name and definition is then expressed in the various national languages. In use, the stored codes are translated 'on the fly' for screen, report or publication, according to the currently chosen language. This technique has been successfully used by at least one national database, the Australian Karst Index.

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Active Projects

Compile a worldwide bibliography of cave and karst informatics. This is being prepared by Günter Stummer of Austria. Please email him <speleo.austria@netway.at> for details if you can provide information about publications related to techniques for cave/karst informatics, documentation, or inventorying.
Data exchange standard
UISIC has issued a proposal to establish standards which will facilitate the transfer, consolidation, and comparison of cave and karst data between independent databases. This involves standards for record identifiers, field definitions, and a transfer format.
Speleological Subject Classification (SSC) System
In co-operation with the UIS Bibliography Commission, produce an expanded SSC System suitable also for classifying defined cave and karst data fields. Such a subject classification system would also have general benefit throughout the speleological community. In the meantime, UISIC has produced a compatible expansion of the existing bibliographic scheme in order to classify data fields during the field definitions discussions.
Cave and Karst Database Software
Provide inexpensive multi-lingual software for operating a cave/karst database. Such software to embody UISIC field definitions, codes, and data transfer format.
Start up of web forums for each of our project discussions.
Survey & Mapping.
This ongoing Working Group is involved with survey and mapping issues. So far it has issued standards for mapping symbols for underground and for surface mapping, and for survey and mapping gradings.
Discussion and setting of standard data fields.
Multi-lingual Dictionary.
This ongoing Working Group manages the UIS Caver's Multi-lingual Dictionary. As at June 2013 it contained 21 languages, with more in the pipeline.

Pending Projects

Minimum cave documentation standards, in collaboration with KIP.
Data exchange format standards.
Upgrade of Speleo Subject Classification terms.
Extend the open-source national cave and karst web database software developed by ASF. (Linux/Apache/MySQL/Perl)
Web pages for cave documentation examples.
Web pages for summary of cave documentation in each country.


Collaboration with the FSE GIS map of EU karst project.
International Expeditions Web Database - collaboration with the FSE and CUCC projects.
Covers both tracking and managing expeditions and their data.
World karst GIS map - collaboration with the project of the University of Arkansas.
Collaboration with the UIS Longest and Deepest Caves Commission.
Speleothem Dates Database - collaboration with the project of Dr Don McFarlane, Scripps College, California.
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